1965-01-14 - Visiting Over Baklava
Summary: Three friends hang out in Saganaki's courtyard.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jay elmo kai 

The courtyard of Saganaki, where weird sorts are supposed to be safe to fry their freak flags. Of course, for Kai, good luck telling the difference. He's on a stool with a guitar in hand, playing some pretty intricate stuff, though there's not really any freaks back here with flags to fly. It's good practice. Lambert's busy in the restaurant, leaving Kai here more or less unsupervised. He's got a little sticky honey around his lips from helping himself to baklava. What. He was left unsupervised.

Elmo comes through the gate, now one of the freaks. "There you are." Lambert's pressed a plate of dolmathes on him and he sets it down nearby. "There's people inside if you wanna play for people."

"I'm playing for you," Kai says. Yeah, as if he knew Elmo was coming to Saganaki let alone to the courtyard. He strums. "Elmo, Elmo, knows guys named Schlomo. Sometimes bends his elbows. Likes to yell at Kai, oh!" He eyes the dolmathes. "Are those any good?" he asks, still strumming idly.

Elmo rolls his eyes, but he's smiling. "Shut up. You're the worst. Yeah, they're real good, but you gotta like sour." He picks one up to eat it, neatly. "What's up?"

Kai stops strumming his guitar and props it against the wall, then hops off his stool and ambles over to the dolmathes to take one. "I like sour," he says, and he munches. Sitting down at Elmo's table, he says, "I'm just taking a break from entertaining. Sometimes I have to get into my headspace, you know, man? I need to just play songs I wanna play."

"Yeah, man," Elmo says, mocking, but it's got no edges on it. "Headspace. Far out." He gets another dolmathe and actually sighs happily over it. "Can that Lambert ever cook. I might forgive him one day for embarrassin' me in front of ten people."

Kai waves a hand and says, "That's just Lambert. He's part satyr. They don't think like people do. They don't have all the hangups." If he realizes he was just being mocked, he doesn't show it. Far out, man. "Man, I'm sorry I missed that party. I had a thing, though. I was here in spirit, though."

"You sure were. The spirit of ruining my life." Elmo shakes his head, reddening up just remembering Lambert loudly noticing stuff about him. "I wanted to /die/." But he's never overdramatic. "Don't let me stop you playin'."

Kai snorts and says, "Your life is fine." He nibbles on his ill-gotten food. "Nah, I'd rather talk to you," he says. Elmo coming before music. It's indeed an honor. "What did he embarrass you about? Come on, relive it all for your good friend Kai."

Elmo tips his head and one hand, agreeing with Kai that his life is fine. "Jay. He brought me as his date. And Lambert just—" He has to stop and put his arm over his eyes. "He /noticed/ I was kinda hanging on Jay and he /said/ it. In front of everybody!" Definitely red now.

Kai's brow lifts. "You're dating Jay now? Wow, Jay used to live with me. We were really good friends. Then he left, and he doesn't really come around anymore." Poor elf wilts a little, but what can ya do? "I guess I could've hung out with him more, but I'd just died, you know? I'd just come back. I was in a state. But hey, glad you two get along."

Elmo has to think about what to do about a wilting Kai. Then it occurs to him, and he does it: rubbing Kai's back. All by himself! "You had a real rough time. You had to do what you had to do."

Kai nods, and he says, "We're still friends, I guess, but I haven't seen him in ages. I think he likes Loki more." The rubbing helps, and he leans into it. So does taking another one of Elmo's dolmathes. Munch munch. "I have't really processed it," he admits. "Even when the darkness seeped into me and gave me weird powers. That just happened, by the way. Look." He lifts his hand, and from his fingertips trail tendrils of inky darkness that start to spread out, casting shadows over the dolmathes as Kai toys with the skirling blackness. "It could spread," he says, but he absorbs the darkness into himself.

Elmo watches with eyebrows high. "You learned that when you were dead? What is it?" He almost tries to touch the dark whorls, but then Kai says it's contagious and he snatches his hand back.

"It came to me later," Kai says. The dark whorls swallow Elmo's fingers in darkness, making them seem to all but disappear while they're within the inkiness. Kai blinks a bit when Elmo draws his hand back, and he laughs a little as he said, "I meant I can make it spread. I could blanket this whole place in darkness if I wanted to. I don't want to. "When it came to me, I was taking a nap on the couch and blew every lightbulb in the house. Then this happened, where I can just make the lights not matter. Stupid dark elves."

Elmo examines his hand, making sure all of it came out of the darkness as went in. He grimaces and rubs his palm on his coat. "Dark elves made that happen to you? I don't get it, explain, okay?"

Kai considers, his features squinched up a bit. "Okay," he says. "When I got marked with the Wild Hunt, they put a tattoo on my back. It depicts the world tree. It's still on my skin. Not only did it mark me so predators look at me and go oh hey I want a piece of that, but, like, the darkness of it soaked into me. Now it's in there just whirling around. I can call on it. I hate it though because it's from the dark elves."

Elmo looks at Kai, with sympathy. "You went through a lot I don't know about, I guess. Poor Kaienka." He goes even further, putting his arm around Kai for half a hug. "You got changed a lot without nobody askin' you."

Kai smiles a bit at the nickname, then a lot at the hug. Even if it's half a hug, he returns it in full. Public display of affection, woo! "Yeah," he says. "I got changed. No one really seems to know what to do with it, so I keep it on the down low. Let them all think I'm okay. Loki's been busy getting his power, Bucky's gone at his girlfriend's most of the time, so it's not like it's hard to put up a front."

Elmo kind of jolts, like he didn't think far enough ahead to realize Kai was going to want to hug him /back/. Note for future self. He pats the elfin curls. "It's not bad though, is it? I mean. It doesn't make you a dark elf, right?"

Kai draws back to regard Elmo, wide-eyed. "Oh, no," he says. "They're wicked and dark-hearted and want to hurt people. I just get sad sometimes. I miss what they took from me, and I don't think I'm going to ever get it back. I spend a lot of time alone, so I go out, you know. Do my bits at the clubs, come here to play music. The music helps."

"Yeah, see, so you could use it to help," Elmo says, trying to grasp what for him is a slippery point. "It don't have to be bad to use it." He is trying!

"Oh no, it can be used for good," Kai says. "It's jsut what it is. But it's like getting a groovy amp from your Aunt Midge, but you really don't like your Aunt Midge, so you use the amp because it's great, but you're still reminded of your horrible Aunt. Does that make any sense? I don't have an Aunt Midge so I'm just pretending here."

"Then every time you use it you gotta think of your aunt and how she's always askin' you when you're gonna get a girlfriend," Elmo says. "Yeah, I know what you mean."

Not to be dramatic, but Lambert has this open door policyor rather open air policywhich the birbs take advantage of. Birbs like Jay. Who walks along the opposite side of the courtyard wall and hops up with an audible 'WHOOSH', using the winds as a stepping stone to climb to the top of the wall, aiming to jump back down on the other side. But there are people! Jay pauses, kind of looking 'caught' as he freezes, crouched with his wings hovered over him. "Uh. Hai," the young mutant murmurs dumbly. Awkwardly while he glances at the 'mood' in the viscinity. He glances back on the other side of the wall. Debating hopping back over.

Kai shudders delicately. "Unrelated, my gran introduced me to so many ladies back home. I felt so bad for them, but she just kept trotting them out, trying to get some sign of interest." He shakes his head. And yet, no interest was had. His sharp glance goes to the movement on the wall, and then he smiles. "Jay," he says. "Please, join us. I'm eating Elmo's dolmathes." He's about polished them off, too.

Elmo can't help snickering. Kai /can/ be made uncomfortable. Motion makes him look up sharply, but he realizes it's Jay. "Hi, you," he says warmly.

Slowly straightening his posture, Jay sits down on the high wall, legs dangling on their side, wingtips on the out. "Those the little grape-leaf pockets?" Querying mildly, but waiting until Elmo concurs to the intrusion before he dares to jump down. "Didn't mean t'interupt. Jus' needed some place t'hide out for a bit." Elmo's warm reply gets another mild wave, returning warmth for warmth. "Hey, you back."

"I'm just taking a break from playing guitar," Kai says, "and Elmo came along, so I'm taking a longer break." He hesitates, then rises to his feet and says, "Jay, you're never interrupting. Then he hugs Jay, because Kai is a hugger, around the shoulders from behind once he sits, and mindful of the wings. "I've missed you."

Elmo grins, watching Kai do what he does best. "What he said." He looks up at Jay and the grin turns into a shy half-smile. "Yeah, grape leaves. You want the last one?"

Jay hops down and is the recipient of that hug, which he returns with natural ease. Clapping Kai a couple times on the back before they part. Close, Kai may notice that Jay has a few snapped feathers worth noticing, which means there are more that he doesn't notice. Over all he looks a little ruffled, the barbs on his feathers not quite as smoothly resting together as they should. Otherwise, he seems the same as ever.

A heavy courtyard chair snagged and turned backwards in a fluid motion, Jay settles in astride the thing. "Oh, Ah couldn't. Please." Jay kindly declines and offers the last one back to the guy who got them, or to Kai, the scavenger. Because that's good manners where he's from. "Missed you too, Kai. How's things?"

Kai's brow furrows with a critical eye as he spies the broken feathers. He strokes one, and he gives Jay a questioning look. He's about to pursue this feather situation further, but then Jay passes up the last of the dolmathes, and he sweeps down to pluck it off the plate. Yoink! Munch. "I'm doing pretty well these days. I was thinking about you the other day and it made me sad, though. Because we don't see much of each other. I'd like to change that."

Elmo notices when Kai notices, and also gives Jay a look, a concerned one. "You doin' okay there? You look a little ragged around the edges."

Careful fingers touch bright feathers and Jay sits up ramrod straight and his wings pull in slightly, like he's just been lightly zapped by, well, his brother. An apologetic, sheepish smile slid in Kai's direction. "Oh yeah?" One apology bleeds into another. "Ah'm sorry, man. Mah fall was kinda hectic an' Ah really, really needed to keep mahself distracted. Between Kaleb's stuff an' tryin' to get the club together, Ah was goin' non stop. Now all those whiny people makin' snarky comments under their breath about the name. No idea how hard Doug worked for it. Or me, or Bean." He pauses and stops himself, forcing a small smile before he gets worked up. "You got mah number, an' All be around more now. An' Ah still wanna help you with that project we talked about this summer. Now that you got that fancy camera an' all."

Shifting gears, there's a small smile to Elmo, looking sheepish. He nods. "Yeah. Rough night. That's all."

"It's all right, man," Kai says. "I was still getting my stuff together after what happened last summer. I was fine for, like, a month. Then I wasn't. I got kind of, what's the word, insular. I'm doing better these days. We'll hang out more." He looks around, spies a plate of unguarded baklava, and snags it, bringing it over to the table. A little something to nibble on after dolmathes. "You can't let the bastards get you down, man. I think it's a great club, and the name is just fine." A glance betwen Elmo and Jay, and then he asks, so casual, "Rough night?"

"What's wrong with the name?" Elmo asks, genuinely confused. "Eh, forget it," he adds, seeing Jay doesn't want to go further into it. He leans closer to Jay, checking him over, then hesitantly offers a hand.

"Yeah, I think a lot of folks had a rough couple seasons," Jay gives Kai a long look in attempted solidarity. "Things'll get better. Sorry Ah was so scarce, man. Ah didn't mean to blow you off or nothin'."

Looking between the two, Jay pauses when Elmo offers hihs hand out to Jay. A bashful glance at Kai, casually as he possibly can, Jaylightly takes Elmo's hand and holds them both on his knee while he sits backwards on his chair. "The Zombie's concert last night didn't really go too smoothly. An' some lame asses're grousin' that the club's name is unamerican because they're all scared about 'atomic'. It ain't the 40's any more, grandpa, you know? Dodge even put out a car couple years ago nicknamed 'Atom' and ain't nobody sayin' that /dodge/ is unamerican, raght? It's got Doug real discouraged. Talkin' about closin' shop before we even get started because he's afraid of picketters or attractin' hate groups now. Worst thing is he named it after /us/—children of the atom, he says. It's a point of pride in brandin'." The gentle man blows out a breath, wings shivering out. "Sorry…Ah don't like idiots pickin' on us."

Kai is here to destroy all that is casual but regarding them both with such a wide grin, dimples dimpling, and his eyes are bright with delight as he glances between them both. Jay's words bring him back to Earth, though, and he says, "Of course they'd say that." Chock full of disdain for The Man. But here's the thing, man, we, like, live in the atomic age. People who can't face that, like, they're going to naysay. But they're just squares." He flips a hand in dismissal of these aforementioned squares. Feh on them. "You point me at them, Jay. I'll take care of them."

Elmo, unavoidably, gets flustered with Kai grinning at him like that. "/What/," he mutters, giving Kai a Look. He's just practicing holding hands with this handsome young mutant. Nothing to see here. "Don't let him close," he says to Jay. "We'll chase 'em off if they show up. They got /everything/, why can't we have something of our own?" From needing to be convinced he's a mutant to mutant rights activist.

Jay's face flushes with easy color on his fair, fair skin while Kai grins at him. Shush! "Yeah, Ah know, Kai. Yer raght. An' the whole thing with cuba an' all. But since then things have gone real chill." He sighs, pressing a gentle smile in Kai's direction. "Maybe it's jus' that fear culture, y'know? Squares bein' square. Like you said, can't accept we're facin' a new age." Looking back to Elmo and his support, Jay's serene whisper of a smile returns. "Ah said th' same thing. Ah don't got a violent bone in mah body, but Ah got two brothers who work at that bar who would /dare/ summun to start somethin'. Thanks, guys."

Kai's smile gains a titch more brightness when Elmo gives him the Look. He nibbles on some baklava, then nudges the plate across to the other two. "I'll gladly punch people on behalf of my mutant friends." He sighs wistfully. "I wish I had a brother or two," he admits. "A straight one, older than myself."

"What would you do with one if you had him?" Elmo says, teasing Kai. He squeezes Jay's hand lightly, and weirdly precisely, like he's focusing on doing it right, and offers him half a shy smile. "We gotta look out for each other. Right? Kai showed me that."

"You want to borrow a couple of mine?" Jay jokes. "Ah got plenty to spare." He smiles at Elmo and his question, giving him a curious look in turn at the precision of that squeeze. His thumb rubs vigorously over the back of Elmo's hand. "Of course. Who else is gonna do it?" Turning back to Kai, he has to ask as well. "Why a straight one?"

Kai tells Jay, "I may take you up on that." He keeps nudging baklava at people, generous with stolen goods. "See, if I had a straight older brother, then my gran would stop trying to get me to come home and get married. I'm one of those, what do you call them, scions. Last of the line. I think at this point she'd be happy with a bastard I'd made during a drug-addled indiscretion. A brother would fix so much."

Elmo shakes his head, weary. "I'm the only boy my parents got. I get a /lot/ of that." He plucks up a piece of baklava with his free hand, then, instead of eating it himself, offers it to Jay.

Much like with the dolmas, Jay shakes his head politely to the baklava, but doesn't seem to judge at all that they're stolen. Elmo's offering given a small smile, he nudges the dessert back to him. "Oh, yeah…that would be an issue." He frowns and thinks on it. "You don't ever want kids?" Looking between Elmo and Kai both. A topic that he honestly cannot even come close to relating to. "You got sisters, Elmo?"

Kai gives Elmo a sympathetic nod. The lament of the only sons. He considers Jay's question. "It's more the making of them that's the challenge," he says, "and staying with the mother without it being unfair to her. Besides, I'm already married, more or less, and she hasn't found that out yet. It's not like Loki and I will ever have issue." He chews his lower lip, then licks a trace of honey off it before he says, "Besides, would you trust me to raise a child? Half the time I'm shocked I can manage a dog."

Elmo hitches a shoulder. "Someday, I guess?" he answers Jay. "I don't think about it too much. My folks think about it /for/ me. Yeah, I got two sisters, they're both older. They were little when my parents came over from Germany. Rachel and Naomi. Naomi's like me. I mean, not so good at…yanno." He eats the baklava and looks a little blissed out.

Looking between the two, Jay seems pensive while he listens to the struggles of the only son club. He smiles faintly to Kai. "Ah don't know. Kids change ya, Ah hear." Quiet for the most part, but arching a brow at Elmo. "Not good at…? Ah can't imagine you not good at somethin'." Not in the least trying to flatter or flirt, it just comes out as fact from Jay. It takes him a long moment of peering at Elmo before he seems to get an inkling. "Oh. You mean, the touch thing?"

"I can think of things you're not good at," Kai informs Elmo with ease. He at least has the grace not to start listing. From the main room, one of the servers pokes her head in and says, "Kai, are you playing or eating? We've got a crowd out here." Kai gets to his feet. "Back to the guitar mines," he says. Neither of them are getting out of this without a hug though before the elf is off to entertain the diners in the main room.

Intentions or not, Elmo interprets it as flattering and his hands are busy and he can't cover his face. He blushes openly and grimaces about it, but answers. "Yeah, the touch thing. She showed me a bunch of stuff to learn how to touch things. She's in neuroscience." He's hugged by Kai. "I can think of a lot of things too," he says, wryly. "Talk to you later, Kainka."

Jay stands up, releasing Elmo's hand to give Kai a hug while straddled over his chair. "Knock 'em dead, Kai." A little more amused than he should be about 'guitar mines', Jay is smiling like an idiot, enigmatically as he sits back down again.

Elmo, licking honey off a fingertip, watches Jay move like he's just, well, enjoying watching Jay move. Wings, muscles, bright eyes, all of it. "What's so funny?" he asks, with a smile of his own—Jay's is infectious.

Settling back in beside Elmo, he looks up again, soft green eyes dancing with humor. "Huh?" Articulate. "Oh. Jus'…guitar mine. It's funny b'cause Ah came from a minin' town. That's where men mostly go to work when they're old enough. Anyway, Ah used t'get a lot of guff b'cause instead of goin' to the mine, Ah worked on mah music. So, you know, guitar mines kinda made me laugh." He explains with a shake of his head.

Elmo's given pause by that. "Sounds awful," he says, frowning, like maybe he hadn't realized until just now that mines are still a thing. "What would you do with your wings, anyway?"

"Ah dunno. Same as Ah did with them when Ah lived at home. Keep 'em bound an' hidden." Jay shrugs a shoulder and shakes his head, "Ah never really thought about it awful or not. It's jus' what you do. It's sorta why we got big families an' start young." The red head gives Elmo a curious look. "Ah mean, if ya got a dozen kids, then at least some of 'em are gonna live long enough to have kids, too. It's so weird, hearin' about so many folks with just a couple kids in their families." He smiles gently and juts his chin to Elmo. "Like you. You said yer sister's in neuroscience? What's that mean?"

"Bound?" Elmo echoes, frowning harder. "That all sounds like hell, excuse me for sayin' so." He inches closer. "Brain science. She used to teach rats things and then dissect their brains. She quit that because she liked the rats too much. Now she's working on this machine that's gonna be able to show your brain in slices, like an x-ray. Sorta. It's kind of hard to explain." He offers Jay his hand again, shyly.

Folding his arms over the back of his chair, Jay takes pause when Elmo offers him his hand again. With a gentled smile, he takes it and this time laces his fingers with Elmo's, letting them rest on his knee. "It's okay. Ah know it sounds rough to a lot of folks up here." Easy-going, Jay doesn't seem bothered by the assessment. "An' yeah, bound. Like…cram 'em down under mah shirt. They're pretty flexible. It's just uncomfortable. Like wearin' shoes that don't really fit."

He quiets down to listen to Elmo's sister's job. "A brain slicer? Huh. So. What's that got t'do with yer touch thing? You said she helped you out a little with it?"

Elmo winces a little, eyes drifting back to Jay's wings. "A cryin' shame to cover them up, though," he says. "They're so beautiful." Open admiration, looking them over, noticing again the broken shafts. "Are you /sure/ you're okay?" he presses, leaning in to peer at a snapped-off secondary. "Sorry, just. I worry."

Jay dips his head again modestly when Elmo ladles that admiration over him like gravy on a turkey dinner. A shiver running through his feathers in a tremor of self-consciousness and low-key pleasure, fluffing up and slicking back down. Still a little rough looking. "Thanks. It's funny. When Ah got here, I never let 'em out. Just walked around like Ah had a turkey shoved up under mah shirt." A helpless little smile, crooked on his lips, then fades. A little troubled, but it only lasts a moment before he banishes it. "It's okay t'worry. Ah'm okay. Just a long, weird night. Ah didn't break any blood feathers so Ah'll be okay. Gotta get mah little brother help me put mah feathers back in order. Ah know, they look a mess. Ah ended up passin' out on the floor an' people were jus'—it doesn't matter. Ah'm okay." Squeezing Elmo's hand. "We were talkin' about you. Ah don't wanna take over the whole conversation."

Elmo dismisses talking about himself with a tossing gesture. "Who cares about me? I don't know nearly enough about you." He looks up into those vivid eyes and, impulsively, brings Jay's hand to his mouth and kisses it.

The kiss to his hand is sweet, but Jay gives Elmo a bemused, but ultimately nonplussed look. Halted for a moment as he searches the Jewish young man's face. "Ah care," he whispers a laugh into his words. Then relaxes again. "But, if y'ain't comfortable talkin' quite yet, that's okay. We can save that fer another time."

"Ah, I know you care," Elmo admits, against the back of Jay's hand. "I'll get around to it, okay? It's boring." He lets their hands drop, and seems relieved—maybe he did something impulsive and didn't ruin literally everything, although he did make Jay look at him funny.

He may not understand that the look wasn't for the kiss, but the comment, but Jay lets it drop anyway. Give it time. Replacing their hands back onto his knee, Jay inhales a deep breath. "Y'know, sometimes borin' is a good thing. Especially around here. But, okay. What do you wanna know? Ah'm an open book."

Elmo doesn't say anything for several minutes, holding Jay's hand and looking at him, until he confesses, "I can't think of anything," and laughs into his arm. "I dunno. How old are you?"

A smile flourishes quickly over Jay's expression over the admission, gentle and warm, turning his eyes into little crescents of humor. "Well, damn. That's a problem." Peering around as Elmo laughs into his arm. "Ah'll be twenty in a couple months."

This delights Elmo. "Hey, we're almost the same age. I'll be twenty in February." He considers, finds another question. "I know—how'd you learn to play guitar?"

"Really?" Jay mirrors that delight, his brows lofting upward at the revelation. "Ah'm in March. March 9th. Cool…" One of his cheeks hollows as Jay chews on the inside of it, pulling it taut while Elmo finds another question. This one gives him a softer look. Sentimental. Maybe a hint hesitant. "Mah Daddy played guitar." Daddy. Because the south. "Music was really the only thing that the two of us ever agreed on. He was a real man's kinda man, yaknow? Tough guy, full of spunk—a lot like mah brother Sam, actually. But, uh, Momma says that the second Ah heard him play, mah eyes opened up an' Ah never stopped watchin' him. Heh, she's even got one of those embarrassin' baby pictures, where Ah'm runnin' aroun' the livin' room in just mah damn diaper, an' Daddy's runnin' ahead of me with his guitar, leanin' over. Mah hands all out, like 'Ah'm gonna get you!'" Jay rolls his eyes and shakes his head dumbly.

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